Reps. Grijalva and McEachin in The Hill: New Report Shows That Interior Department’s Anti-Harassment Policies are Lacking

Washington, D.C. – Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) and Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), ranking member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, write in a new op-ed for The Hill that a new report by the Natural Resources Committee Democrats shows clearly how the Department of the Interior (DOI) and its bureaus can combat their sometimes pervasive sexual harassment problems.

The report, #InteriorToo: Addressing sexual harassment across the Department of the Interior starts with strong anti-harassment policies, finds that many policies at the Interior Department and its various bureaus fall short of best practices recommended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and that some do not even guarantee that a complainant will not face retaliation. The report is available at http://bit.ly/2BqAr1M.

As the members write:

The buck has to stop somewhere, and right now nobody at DOI seems to know where that is. If Secretary Zinke and his lieutenants are serious about ending the culture of impunity that dominates certain segments of our public lands agencies, they will ensure that every agency has a strong, multi-faceted anti-harassment policy in place, and they will encourage complainants to come forward without fear of retaliation. Falling short of that will simply allow the issue to fester. 

Paying lip service to the value of a healthy work environment is not the same thing as addressing or preventing harassment. The new report clearly lays out the steps Secretary Zinke and agency heads need to take. The question now is whether they’ll listen. 

The full op-ed is available at http://bit.ly/2BtQ2xs

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